My goals as Captain
I gave myself three goals to achieve during my year as Captain:
- Improve communications within the section
- Encourage members to play more golf
- Grow the section
A newsletter to communicate more efficiently
I’ve made progress in all three, but the one I’ve enjoyed the most is the first: improve communications. The way we used to exchange information within the section was very simple. Direct verbal communication, notices on the board in the ladies’ room and email. These methods worked, but they also have some drawbacks: what if a member isn’t there when information is communicated verbally? What if a member doesn’t go up to the club for a while or simply doesn’t notice the important message on the board? What if a member doesn’t use email?
Besides, members who work full time and sometimes only play once a week or every couple of weeks can find it difficult to keep track of what’s happening. And when someone is ill or takes time off golf for whatever reason, they can quite easily become cut off from the section. That’s why I decided to start a monthly newsletter to complement the existing system. I send it by email and it gets printed out and pinned to the board in the ladies’ room. That way, members who don’t use email still have access to it.
Mailchimp, an online tool to create email campaigns
I did a bit of research and picked Mailchimp, a very simple online tool to create email campaigns. Because I’m very impatient and I get excited about things, I didn’t take any time to learn how to use it and just started building my newsletter. I’m sure I wasted lots of time and I’m not making the most of all its features, so if you’re interested, I suggest you watch this beginners’ tutorial about Mailchimp.
As I said, I created my first newsletter in about ten minutes. It is that easy. I picked our section’s colours and started writing.
Competitions and events update
This allows me to lay out what’s coming up the following month: club and external competitions, social events, clinics and any other news. This way, we all have in our inbox all the information about what’s happening in the next four weeks. I also add photos that I take whenever we get together. This makes the newsletter more lively and appealing and it’s nice to have visual memories of the life of the section.
Stories about the club and golf
I also decided that I wanted to share interesting tidbits about the club and golf in general. I started relaying older members’ stories, which is a nice way of reinforcing the culture of the section and our awareness of our common heritage. Finally, I like to include a rule to improve everyone’s knowledge; in fact, the two rules I’ve shared on this blog have come from the newsletter.
A very useful tool
It’s been a great learning curve for me. It’s given me an excuse to be nosy and have lovely chats with our older members, who have taught me a lot about the club and the course. It’s also encouraged me to look up rules and regulations that I wanted to share. More crucially, as Captain, it means that I can communicate all the important info at the beginning of each month. This helps a lot with organising events and getting the support I need. It also clarifies in my own mind what I have to do for everything to happen smoothly. I thought I’d struggle to find things to write every month, but far from it, I’m having to delete items because it’s always too long. So much to tell!